Top 25 Cookware Questions and Answers

I did a bit of research about cookware questions. I came to learn that there are a lot of unanswered questions about cookware, professional cookware, different kinds of pots and pans, etc. So, I’ve gathered up the Top 25 Cookware Questions, and we’re going to answer all of them.

Some of the searches I found were very similar, but have slightly different wording. I’m going to include all the searches, but create one answer for them all.  Creating a 25 Cookware Q & A article. Enjoy!

Top 25 Cookware Questions and Answers – Q & A

1. What Are the Best Brands for Cookware?

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This is of course, a matter of opinion. We believe the best brands are as follows: All-Clad, Matfer Bourgeat, Calphalon, Fissler, Viking. There are numerous other top level cookware sets, but these stand out.  Check out out our best professional cookware sets review.

2. What Cookware is Best for Induction Cooktops?

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Cookware used with an induction range must be magnetic. Consider frying pans made of iron, stainless steel, or carbon, but ceramic or aluminum won’t work. The best induction cookware will sit flat on the cooktop (hob) and will conduct electromagnetic energy uniformly.

Just to clarify, non-stick, generally won’t work, but some brands have added a steel plate to the base of the pan. This works. Think Anolon, T-Fal, All-Clad, Made-In.

3. What Cookware is Safe?

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This question is asked more often these days, with all the health issues out there. You can’t be too cautious in these times. In no particular order: ceramic non-stick, surgical grade stainless-steel, real cast-iron (cast-iron that’s not diluted) and carbon steel.

4. What is Best Cookware for Electric Stove?

Now, we’re talking about the old school electric element burners. Basically, any kind of cookware is okay for this style of electric cooktop.  It’s a simple design. A heating element…it gets hot, and heats your pot or pan. Some suggestions are stainless steel, cast iron, heavy-weight aluminum (we don’t see any use for light-weight aluminum…just our opinion) ceramic/enamel, titanium…these will all work.

5. What Cookware Does Gordon Ramsay Use?

Gordon Ramsay uses Hexclad Cookware at home. See below….

6. What Cookware is Made in the USA?

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The USA cookware that are worth looking at are All-Clad, Nordic Ware, Heritage Steel, Made In, Lodge Cast Iron Cookware, 360 Cookware. It’s great to support local businesses, instead of China.

7. What Type of Cookware is Best?

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This is a subjective question, as each person decides what’s best for them. Best for tight budget, best for health reasons, best for someone who’s not strong (don’t buy cast iron if you can’t deal with some serious weight). So, for our purposes we will go with best overall, taking in budget constraints, and health factors.

Cast iron, enameled cast iron and fully clad stainless steel would be good choices to make. We’re not big fans of non-stick.

8. What Cookware Do Chefs Use?

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Chefs have a different set of needs in the restaurant, compared to cooking at home. With that in mind most chefs prefer stainless steel, carbon steel, ceramic, cast-iron, and to a lesser extent, aluminum.

9. What Cookware is Best for Glass Top Stoves?

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Things to think about with a glass-top stove are scratches mostly, and staining. So the best cookware for the ceramic cooktop is stainless steel, copper bottom pots and pans, heavy-weight aluminum, titanium cookware, and very flat bottom, smooth carbon steel.

Cast iron is definitely a no-no, along with Stoneware. The simple reason is that these two cookware styles have rough bottom, and will definitely scratch the glass cooktop.

10. What Does Anodized Cookware Mean?

“Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish.” Credit to the Aluminum Anodizers Council

Where cookware is concerned, it’s aluminum cookware that gets anodized. This simply means that the aluminum is sealed, and therefor no aluminum can seep into the food, or react with any acidic foods, like tomatoes or citrus.

11. What Cookware is Best for Gas Stoves?

We feel that it’s a toss-up between the classic cast iron, and fully clad stainless steel, with an aluminum or copper core. Again, this is an opinion-based answer. Having a restaurant for a number of years, this was my experience.

12. What is Granite Cookware Made Of?

Cookware that we have always thought of as being made of granite, often known as graniteware, is actually an enamelware. Although its name includes the word “granite,” the material itself is not granite. The appearance, which is somewhat spotted, inspired the name.

Today, metals like stainless steel, carbon steel, or aluminum alloy can get a glass or porcelain enamel coating from manufacturers. It produces an inert and glossy finish that is impermeable. These days’ granite cookware is much more sleek and lightweight than their cast-iron based predecessors.

13. What Pans are Oven Safe?

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This is a good question, as not all pots and pans are oven-safe. Generally, cast-iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, stoneware, granitestone and copper cookware. As long as none of these have plastic lid knobs, or plastic handles, they should be good for the oven.

The cookware sets that shouldn’t be put in the oven are ceramic cookware (most of them), and definitely not plastic.

Some good choices are:

Legend 5 Ply Stainless Steel Cookware

HexClad 6-Piece Hybrid Cookware Set

Viking 5-Ply Hard Stainless Cookware Set

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece

14. What Nonstick Cookware is Safe?

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This is a tough one, as many of the non-stick cookware still has teflon (PFOA & PTFE – Chemicals that are in teflon, and it’s what has alerted people to the dangers of teflon). With that said, the healthy choice in the non-stick category is:

GreenPan Levels Stackable Hard Anodized Healthy Ceramic Nonstick 

15. What is Non-Reactive Cookware?

Non-reactive cookware doesn’t react to acidic foods, like tomatoes, wine, citrus, etc. The reaction causes the food to take on a metallic taste. Non reactive examples are stainless steel, glass, & enamel cookware. Cast iron is an example of reactive cookware.

16. What is Enamel Cookware

This is porcelain-enamel that is coated over a metal. The usual metals are iron, aluminum or steel. These are usually nice looking pots and pans, and are pretty durable over the long haul.

17. What Cookware is Safe for Metal Utensils?

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The short answer is cast iron, stainless steel, hard anodized (electrochemical process to oxidize the aluminum), and carbon steel.

Some manufacturers of non-stick cookware, claim their product is so tough it can handle metal utensils. Granitestone is one of these companies, but some customers have complained that the non-stick coating is chipping while using metal utensils…but it’s your money, if you want to take a chance….use metal utensils.

18. What Cookware is not Made in China?

United States: All-Clad, Heritage Steel, Made In, Nordic Ware, Lodge
France: Le Creuset, Staub, Mauviel, de Buyer, Matfer Bourgeat
Italy: Ruffoni, Hestan, Ballarini
Belgium: Demeyere, Zwilling Aurora 5-ply
Denmark: Scanpan
England: Samuel Groves
Switzerland: Swiss Diamond
Germany: Fissler, Zwilling

19. What Cookware Do I Need?

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We’re going to approach this question as though someone starting out, was asking. One of our criterion, is where it’s made. Not China…that’s good, and not unhealthy non-stick. Also, under $200 (at the time of writing). So, we’re going to suggest:

Tramontina 80110/220DS Style Ceramica Cookware Set, 10 Piece


Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle

20. What is Hexclad Cookware?

This unique cookware is made with a patented process that bonds stainless steel to an aluminum core, then another layer of stainless steel. Then laser-etched interior, and special non-stick Japanese coating (with diamond dust for extra toughness).

The result is a durable, non-stick surface that is safe to use on all cooking surfaces, including gas, electric, ceramic, induction, glass cooktops and good up to 500°F in the oven. Hexclad cookware is also dishwasher safe, making it easy to care for.

See it here

21. Is T-Fal Titanium Cookware Safe?

According to the manufacturer, yes it is.  Titanium is safe as cookware material. The question that arises, is the non-stick coating safe. According to T-Fal, they use a PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) in there non-stick coating. Not to be confused with PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid), which some manufacturers still use, and is suspected of having negative health effects.

22. Is Stackmaster Cookware Safe?

Stackmaster is made by Gotham Steel. Their pans are made with an aluminum core, coated by a titanium & ceramic finish. The titanium is good as a durable, and long lasting surface. The ceramic is what makes the surface non-stick. So, the verdict is that the Stackmaster Cookware is safe.

23. What is the Safest Cookware in the World?

Cast iron, stainless steel, non toxic ceramic, glass, and enamel-coated cast iron are the safest materials for making cookware. These cookware, as well as naturally nonstick, are comprised of 100% environmentally friendly organic components, both safe and healthy down the line.

24. How Do I Get the Brown Off My Stainless Steel Pan?

Carefully place the pan into the water after adding a generous amount of baking soda (about 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup). Reduce the heat so that the water is just simmering, then let the pan sit in there for 15 to 30 minutes, turning or shifting it as needed to ensure even cooking on all sides. The brownish coating should begin to peel off.

If necessary, make a baking soda-water paste. Use a cloth or sponge with the paste, and buff out any remaining brown stuff. That’s how to clean a stainless steel pan.

25. How To Season a Cast Iron Pan

For a completely unseasoned cast iron pan, follow this Protocol:

  1. Lightly coat the inside of the pan with a high-smoke point, vegetable oil.
  2. Place in a 350°F – 365°F oven, upside down for one hour.
  3. After, the hour, let the fry pan cool down, naturally in the oven.
  4. Repeat this process at least 3 more times.

Yes, it’s tedious, but only needs to be done very rarely, if you take proper care of the cast iron pan.